Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 13th 2013 Contents interview
www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2013
with Clevon Raphael
Q: Mr Montano, a few years
ago you told me you were
no longer interested in
active politics. What made you change
A: (Seated in his black leather
swivel chair in his Abercrom-
by Street, Port-of-Spain,
chambers, Thursday morning) That
was perfectly true at the time I said it,
and the truth is, there was nothing on
the horizon which was attractive to
What made you join the ILP?
Let me put it this way: there is only
one reason for politics, there is only
one reason for government: to make
life better for the people...full stop.
What propelled you into joining the
ILP when you had clearly other choic-
es among the traditional parties?
(Montano cupping his forehead with
one hand recalled why he left the PNM;
one of the reasons being it had become
a racist party).
Wait... Wait... Racist?
(Getting a little hot under the collar)
You want to discuss the PNM or you
want to discuss the ILP?
I thought I was laying the founda-
tion for us to get to the ILP?
Ok. The short answer to that is yes,
and it was well documented at that
time and I stand today...
Can you give us one example of this
racist allegation against the PNM?
Oh gosh, you want one example?
There has never been (slightly clapping
his palms) any non-black or African
person to achieve any position of high
eminence in the party, who was capable
of becoming the political leader of that
What about its former chairman
Dr Lenny Saith?
Clevon, Lenny Saith was never a
popular politician; he catered to a con-
stituency of one...that is, Patrick Man-
Very well. Fast-forwarding to today.
How was Jack Warner able to draw
you out of his political hat to join the
(A huge smile) Because Mr Warner
appeared on the scene as a candidate,
as a person who genuinely cared for
and about the people...as a person who
can and who will change the face of
You know, one of the things that
really pleased me was that Mr Warner s
election to the Chaguanas West seat,
of other people, signalled the end of
the tribal politics in this country.
There is a school of thought which
suggests this really began when the
NAR severely trounced the PNM in
the general election of 1986.
Well, no, I disagree with you com-
pletely, with that school of thought.
Didn t the results of the May 24,
2010 general election signal that the
population was moving against tribal
The May 2010 victory of the PP came
like a false dawn.
It is clear that this country is crying
out for leadership that is not concerned
with the colour of a man s skin or the
texture of his hair.
What this country is concerned
about is with performance, and that is
what Mr Warner is promising. Mr
Warner is a well-known workaholic,
and like most workaholics, he scorns
those people who don t work. The result
is that anybody, everybody who works
with him pretty well has to try and
achieve his standards or they get short
shrift from him, and I don t blame him.
Mr chairman, isn t Warner much
less encumbered by way of family
commitments? Most other parliamen-
tary representatives have to look after
domestic business, such as bringing
up young children, and would like to
put out (a similar) amount of working
hours to service their constituents.
of victory for Jack
I can understand your com-
ments there, but my answer to
that is that this man is absolutely
phenomenal in his working out-
Mr chairman, how are you cer-
tain that Warner s work ethic
would be replicated if his team
should form the next govern-
going to work like crazy to make
sure that his work ethic permeates
all the way down.
OK, let s now turn to a very
topical issue concerning you...
your e-mail bacchanal, to be
What, my e-mail?
Continue on Page A9
Robin Montano, interim chairman of the
Independent Liberal Party, is not aware of the
existence of a cabal within the four-month-old
political entity. He, however, is certain one exists
in the ruling People's Partnership administration
which he voted for in the last general election.
The attorney, who smells victory for the Jack
Warner-led ILP in the next general election,
constitutionally due in 2015, said he became
disenchanted with the PP coalition almost
immediately after it took office in 2010.
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